Words of Wisdom

Words of wisdom is based on my experience and observation of other inmates, correctional officers and federal prison camp administration.

1. Be a man of your word because honor and respect have to be earned in the federal prison camp with inmates and the officers.

2. Only answer questions when you are asked and keep it brief and as simple as possible. If a question requires a yes or no answer just answer yes or no, do not volunteer information.

3. Verify what you here regarding federal prison camp instructions from other inmates.

4. Listen and always do what the correctional officers tell you and be polite doing it with no aguments. This will benefit in the long term as they will leave you alone.

( I will be adding words of wisdom periodically, please visit again.)

18 Comments to “Words of Wisdom”

on 05 Nov 2008 at 9:51 pm1Dave

Great site!!!! Im reporting to the camp at Lewisburg, Pa on 12/22/08 for a 36 month sentence. Your site has the best information available. Great job. I just want to get in and get out.

on 05 Nov 2008 at 10:57 pm2Rickey

Thanks Dave, I appreciate the encouraging words. I agree, get in, find something to stay busy and get out.

on 12 Apr 2009 at 3:38 am3Jen

Hi Rickey,

what challenges have you had to face so far since returning from the Prison Camp? Have you found work? What was your family/girlfriend/friends reaction to you being sent away?

When you got out, did you go to home confinement or half-way house? I am very curious about your experience post federal prison camp.

Ironically my boyfriend is in Lewisburg, PA Prison Camp just like the msg above. He will be released no later than 6/30. His sentence was 8 month, if hes released by 6/30 it would mean he served 7 of them away.

Thank you for this site, it really has helped me to understand where my guy is dealing with.Btw, he ranked as your ‘wise spectator’ which didn’t surprise me anyways.


on 12 Apr 2009 at 5:36 pm4Rickey

Hi Jen,

First thing was to overcome laziness from being in a layed back environment and getting back in the swing of working in the business (self-employed).

I did apply to some contract jobs, some were understanding while others politely told me I was not or over qualified. Jobs will be harder to find but not impossible, it’s all up to the individual in a small business or company policies.

My family was very supportive, few friends understood and there were a lot of people who didn’t know what to say.

I was sent to a half way house for 2 1/2 months and then on supervised release for 3 years which is now over, praise God.

It’s best not to mention prison camp unless asked because most peoples attitudes toward you do change and it’s only because they do not understand until they get to know you.

on 28 Apr 2009 at 3:20 am5Jen

Thank you Ricky

for your honesty. My guy is very depressed. Today was his bday and he still hasn’t been informed of his released date from the camp. He was told he know by early April and May is right around the corner.

I myself haven’t been able to keep up with the letter writing and reading material care packages that I usually send him this month due to the constraints of finishing my thesis and working 2 jobs to make ends meet. We talk every Sunday. He called last night and sounded very unhappy. Me unfortunately was in the middle of my paper and it is due this Thurs so I am going through my own private hell and I felt bad for my guy. I wanted to be talkative and lift his spirits but I am exhausted myself. The phone call was VERY brief and rather disappointing.

Any thoughts on this?


ps he is adamant that people do NOT know he was or is in a prison camp so there’s only a handful who are aware.

on 28 Apr 2009 at 4:47 am6Rickey


My thoughts are the words of a husband who loves his wife. While incarcerated I quickly realized that it would be harder on my wife than for me so I did my best to keep her encouraged because she needed it more than I did. It would have been selfish of me to only think of myself rather than her.

Now regarding not knowing his release date, well I find that hard to believe because every inmate knew their exit date months in advance and usually had it in writing from the case manager.

on 02 May 2009 at 5:54 pm7Jen


he knows the end date of his term but not his release date from the prison camp to the half way house. He knows as for the camp they can only keep him till June 30th and then he would spend the last 10% of his term at the HWH (Half-way-house). We were just hoping he would be out sooner than June 30th.

He has been for the most part upbeat but and never angry at me except in the beginning when he was worried that I may tell other people of his situation. Otherwise he has been loving, more so than ever before. He is much more down to earth and not stressing the small stuff like he used to.

Did you have to spend time at a HWH, and how did it affect you? Were you already married before you went to the prison camp?

I really appreciate your replies to my queries


on 03 May 2009 at 12:54 am8Rickey

Hi Jen,

I remember that corresponding with halfway house location and dates were always at the last minute so I understand the frustration, seen it in many inmates, it comes down to acceptability and space available.

Yes, I was in a halfway house for 2 1/2 months and the affect was like a gradual release and transition time that quickly passed because after the first week I was again seeing my family and working in our business.

Yes, I was married 20 years before going in and praise God we are still happily married today.


on 29 Dec 2009 at 12:23 am9Joe

Do they ever drug test you when you first arrive or later at random…. I’m clean, just curious.

on 29 Dec 2009 at 1:09 am10Rickey


Good question and Yes, every new inmate arriving to the prison camp is given a medical examination and drug testing (urine sample) is part of it.

Yes, there is also random drug testing throughout the time of an inmates stay in the camp and those with drug related crime are tested more often than others. I remember inmates complaining about being woken up early in the morning for urine samples. Not only was the time of testing random but also the selection of inmates, they were also at random.

on 17 Feb 2010 at 4:43 am11Darren


Today I met with the FBI explaining my involvement in a white collar crime and potential charges. I don’t know what Im looking at - whether it’s probation, home confinement, HWH + confinement or a prison camp. It’s all up in the air right now - I haven’t even been formally charged with anything yet.

I am hooping I can remain out but the reality is, that I may be looking at minimal time 12-18 mos…I came home despondent today…and was guided to your website. As I read stories and questions that you so eloquently respond to, I thank you for you bein a heaven sent angel to help all of us ‘vistors & residents’ in the BOp. Sometimes I feel life is hopeless then Ilook at my wife and 2 sons and realize this is but a small moment in our lives.

My wife and I have become closer and our war cry is ‘this too shall pass’ and we will make it through it. Im glad to know there is someone out there talking about these things.

I do have 1 question - in prison camps, are inmates allowed to have pictures of family, books of their own, other conveniences - IPOD’s, PSP’s and the like or is that used in HWH settings? Just curious.

Again thank you and I will keep you up to date on my progress.

on 18 Feb 2010 at 8:01 pm12Rickey


Praise God! You are already in the victory lane because you are looking to God and your family for strength and yes, it does pass.

Yes, you can have pictures of your family and your wife can also mail new ones to you. Books are also allowed but best to have them shipped to you from a publisher like amazon that way you can receive soft and hard cover books. Family can mail books to you but they must be paperbacks.

Another convenience is that you can get a subscription to a local paper or magazines sent to you directly to the prison camp.

All electronic devices that are available must be purchased in the commissary.

Halfway houses have no restrictions.

on 21 Feb 2010 at 10:05 pm13Charles


I have been following your site and reading the questions answers. I really appreciate your views and facts about prison. It has helped me tremendously. I was indicted in Sept 2009 for a White Collar crime. I plan to plead guilty and already have a plea agreement which I have not signed yet. I have been putting it off but I know I should go ahead and do it very soon. I have 5 children, two are still at home with me and my wife. I know the end is near and I need to face the results. My attorney says I’m facing up to 6 years. I understand the Judge could make it a lesser amount time. This is my first crime. I am a Christian, I turned this mess over to God long ago. I truly believe God is working with me on this and a blessing will come soon. My church, family and friends all have been praying for me. I was curious, since there is a lot of talk and facts of prison over- crowding across the US if you or someone else may have heard that Federal Judges are backing off on prison sentencing and maybe using house arrest, probation or something to eliminate prison time?

Thanks Charles

on 22 Feb 2010 at 5:35 pm14Rickey


Yes, there is a lot of talk and rumors regarding the issue you mention but the fact remains, prisons continue to be over crowded and other prison are continueing to be built.

As a fellow Christian, focus on God, God is the only one who can change the mind and heart of a judge.

on 27 Feb 2010 at 6:35 am15rawdeal

For Charles:

I was indited with 18 other people for white collar crime. Expensive lawyers ($250,000) told me to plead guilty as that was my only chance of getting a reduced sentence. Four of the defendants who did the exact same thing, pled “not guilty” and the jury let them go. The rest of us all got jail sentences.

The system is corrupt and everyone knows it. It is big business (2,000,000 people in jail.) It accounts for many government jobs and supports many allied industries, such as food services, building trades, trucking, transportation and the garment industry to name a few.

Do Not “Plead Guilty.” Take your chances. The federal prosecutors are not that sharp–otherwise they would be working for the defense making the big bucks.

on 21 Mar 2010 at 6:09 pm16Charles

For Rawdeal,

Thanks for the advice. I’m still talking with my attorney on how I will plea. Meet with them on the 24th. Good luck and God bless you.

on 22 Apr 2010 at 10:56 pm17JoAnna

I have a dear friend who has been sent to prison for 17-20 years. I am trying to find words to encourage him and to let him know someone cares no matter what. It was a white collar crime and he has taken the fall for many…it is not a good situation and he has been abandoned by family. Can you give me words of encouragement or advice???


on 24 Apr 2010 at 4:46 pm18Rickey


Keep the line of communication open, write letters to him, mail holiday cards and share your life with him. I say that because it provides him hope and a will to endure by knowing somebody does care about him.

Believe me, when a man hears “mail call” they all flock to the officer hoping for a letter and I have personally witness a letter wash away many sorrows in a man’s face and giving them the strength to endure another day.

Your continued friendship is and will be his encouragement, so talk with him as though he just moved away to another state, share the successes in life, seek his advice on things because encouragement is also having value.


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